Trends In Europe: Women's Sandals By Sarah Aik

After searching high and low through the shops of London & Paris, there are endless trends in women's sandals. Whether it be their silhouette, color, or embellishments, gone are the basic flip-flops. Criss crossing straps, big buckles, fur and more are taking over the sandal world!


  1. Slide On Variations
  2. Cage Front
  3. Ankle Accents
  4. Themes (Embellishments, Materials & Color)
  5. Fusion of Themes
  6. Trend Stop: What's Coming Next

Slide On

Single Strap

Slide on sandals with just a single strap were a popular choice over a decade ago, and now they are making their way back. This style is at pre-peak as it is becoming a sandal style for all occasions.

Criss Cross

The most popular sandal on the streets and in the stores is a criss cross strap slide on. This pre-peak item was in every store. This silhouette comes in countless variations, most commonly as a flat sandal with straps that are either woven or plain material such as denim or suede.

Two Straps With Buckles

Most commonly referred to as Birkenstocks after the brand that has pioneered this style. What was once a sandal worn by people with a more hipster sense of style has transformed into a sandal for anyone. These are post peak as they are a shoe nearly everyone has had some sort of variation of over the past few years. People continue to buy them though as they have been transformed time after time.

Two Straps (without buckles)

Just like the criss-cross straps slide on sandals, these come in many variations (including with an ankle strap). These are often seen in leather of all colors. The two straps are a post peak item as they have become a closet staple for everyone now, however they are still doing well in stores as there are so many variations.


Mules are starting to take over the similar looking shoe of the peep toe booty with an ankle strap. The main difference between the two styles is that the mule cuts off at the ankle unlike the bootie does. This is an incoming style, not quite everyone has them yet but the numbers are rising. This style is rising in popularity as the booty goes down. Often times, these are plain looking as they generally come in single colors and are leather or suede.


ankle ties

It doesn't matter if its a flat sandal or a heeled sandal, it's always fun to throw in some ties on the ankles. This style has been around for some time now and is starting to decline on the outgoing stage of the trend curve, more people are wearing an ankle strap with a buckle. That being said though, don't be so quick to rule these fun ties out! They are still being sold in stores and seen on the street!

ankle straps

A few years ago, high heels started incorporating a thin strap around the ankle and it has worked its way down to everyday sandals. This is a popular add on to any basic pair of sandals. One of the most popular styles to see an ankle strap on is one with two straps across the foot (like the slide ons shown previously). This concept is peaking, it is on every style sandal whether it be heeled, a wedge or flat.


Sling backs are slowly making an appearance in sandals. It could be seen somewhere between testing and incoming. There are not a ton of brands who are incorporating this style into their lines but they were seen in multiple stores.


Cage Front

This post peak silhouette is a fun take on a gladiator. Generally is seen on sandals with a heel rather than a flat one. They often times are a more dressed up look.

Trend themes

Embellishments, materials & more!

Bikers & Buckles

Each sandals is different from the next as there are countless ways these can be studded: round, square, flat, pyramid, open or closed. Buckles add another accent to these making them an edgier look. Similar looks can be found on a variety of items such as belts and purses

sparkle & Shine

Metallics are all the rage! Who wouldn't love having metallic sandals anyways? They go with everything and fit every style no matter who you are! Currently in fashion in general Rose Gold is making a big splash but in sandals, all metallics are a big hit.

half & half

A fun twist on the criss cross straps is to have the two straps be different. This can be as simple as having two different colors or having one side embellished and the other left plain.

business casual

More and more sandals are being given a more business look and appearing as if they were loafers. Many are adding a sophisticated horse bit buckle, tassels or flat fringe.

fun in fur

Forget Ugg boots! You can now have the same warm & fuzzy feeling but while wearing sandals. Most commonly this is seen in a light pink but it is also seen in other colors and textures too. There are some options that are a lighter and feather feeling and then some that is shorter in length but thicker. Some sandals have a traditional sole to them, while others have a furry sole.

diamonds (and pearls) are a girls best friend

Adding a little bit of glitz and glam is being done a ton! So many sandals are being featured with either jewels or pearls on them. They add enough to make a simple sandal so much different and be acceptable for fancier occasions.

all tied up

Bows of all shapes and sizes are making their mark. You no longer need to be a preppy person to rock a bow in your style. The big one on the rise are these larger, more extravagant ones but you'll still see a regular bow too!

Ruffle Some feathers

As we have seen on clothes recently, ruffles are in! Ruffles started to make appearances on blouses and dresses and now they found their way to sandals too. They are seen in big and little versions. Most commonly are found on slides, but they are on all silhouettes.

FUsion conclusion

Each silhouette and theme can be fused together in so many ways, making endless amounts of possible styles. There is more than just color or material to a shoe - you can mix pearls, buckles and so much more!

Metallic, Single Strap Slide On & Pearls
Pearls & Ruffled Bows
Two Straps & Fur
Criss Cross Straps & Fur
Metallic, Studded (Biker theme) Single Strap & Ankle Ties
Two Strap & Bows
Buckled Two Straps, Pearls & Fur

trend stop - coming up next!

Bows begone! Next summer, knots will be making an appearance. Like bows, they are being shown in different shapes, sizes and colors
Solid tribal tones will be a hit for colors. Metallics may find themselves on the outs next year. Simple colors such as reds and blues will be popular.
Buckles are currently seen on a biker themed sandal or on one with two straps resembling a Birkenstock. However, next year they will be taking a more elegant turn. Buckles will be cleaner and crisper additions than they currently are. They will most likely be one wide straps.
Created By
Sarah Aik

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